“1984 Yearbook” Highlights Worldwide Increase
1 When you read the 1984 Yearbook, you will be thrilled with the annual report on the worldwide activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses. What joy is ours just to see the tangible results of Jehovah’s rich blessing on the united efforts of his dedicated people during the 1983 service year!
2 Long ago Isaiah spoke prophetically about our times and described what we are privileged to experience today. In words of praise to Jehovah he said: “You have made the nation populous; for it you have made the rejoicing great.” (Isa. 9:3) Then in that same Isa 9 verse 3 he proceeded to highlight further the great rejoicing on the part of Jehovah’s people, saying: “They have rejoiced before you as with the rejoicing in the harvesttime, as those who are joyful when they divide up the spoil.” These words of Isaiah remind us of what Jesus said about a ready harvest and the need for workers in the field.—Matt. 9:35-38.
3 The report shows that on an average 2,501,722 publishers were active throughout the year and that we reached a new peak of 2,652,323. Both of these figures represent a 7-percent increase over the 1982 service year. And just think—there was an influx of 161,896 newly baptized ministers of the Kingdom, a 17-percent increase over the preceding year!
4 Jehovah’s people have taken seriously the apostle Paul’s admonition always ‘to have plenty to do in the work of the Lord,’ and this is reflected in a 14-percent increase in total hours in field service. This time was well spent in effective witnessing as is indicated by other related increases. Total literature placements increased by 12 percent! Subscriptions soared by 28 percent! How thrilled we are to have had a share in this ministry of the good news and now to have a record of the results!
5 Much of the overall accomplishment in the field during the 1983 service year can be attributed to the fact that on an average there were 206,098 pioneer ministers reporting field service each month. This is a 19-percent increase, or more than 33,000 additional pioneers, over last year. Great potential for continued increases is seen in the total of 1,797,112 home Bible studies reported, a 13-percent increase over 1982. No doubt many of those now studying are well on their way to becoming new praisers of Jehovah.
6 There were 514,920 more persons attending the Memorial celebration in 1983, making a total of 6,767,707—an 8-percent increase over 1982. What fine potential for further increase is seen in these figures!
7 Does not this encouraging report on last year’s activity move you to want to continue doing all that you can in Kingdom service during the current 1984 service year? How very appropriate our 1984 yeartext as taken from Philippians 1:14: “Speak the word of God fearlessly”! Many of us may, indeed, be faced with trialsome situations in carrying out our ministry during 1984, but that was also the situation with many of our brothers scattered throughout the world during 1983. Still, Jehovah did not allow trialsome seasons to slow down his work, and this is clearly evident from the compiled report.
8 Speaking further about Jehovah’s blessing upon his modern-day spiritual nation, Isaiah said: “You have added to the nation; O Jehovah, you have added to the nation; you have glorified yourself. You have extended afar all the borders of the land.” (Isa. 26:15) To what extent Jehovah will continue to increase the blessings upon his people this side of the great tribulation, we do not know. But certainly it is the desire of each one of us to be able to receive news of the “final report” and rejoice for having had a share in the work assigned.